Since it’s establishment 15 years ago, Brunei’s Baiduri Bank Group continues to show impressive growth in business volume and activity, earning numerous international awards, the latest being, the World Finance award for Best Banking Group Brunei 2010. Pierre Imhof, General Manager at Baiduri Bank Berhad said: “Winning international recognition shows that Baiduri Bank is continually improving its products and services in line with the highest international standards and provides motivation to deliver excellent financial performance year after year.”
The group’s profit before tax in 2009 reached BN$56m ($40m), an impressive 65 percent increase over 2008 bearing testament to the group’s strong resilience to hostile market forces as the domestic economy paces itself through recovery.
Baiduri Bank came into existence in 1994, followed two years later with the establishment of Baiduri Finance, its wholly-owned subsidiary. How did the group manage to achieve so much in such short time? The answer may lie in their shareholding.
The bank’s shareholders include three leading home grown corporations Baiduri Holdings, Royal Brunei Airlines and Royal Brunei Technical Services in addition to BNP Paribas of France. This strong combination of local commitment and global expertise, which has helped to drive innovation and pioneering activities.
Anticipating a slow domestic economic recovery in 2009, all sectors of the Group geared themselves for a difficult year and made conscious efforts to further improve operational efficiency with the aim to achieve cost efficency. This involved consolidation of key functions through organisational restructuring, retraining and redeployment of staff, and investments in technology leading to faster response to customer needs and stronger focus on key business segments. All these efforts resulted in a growth in Profit after Tax in 2009 of BN$42m ($30m), an increase of 62 percent over 2008 while Net income declined by four percent as forecast.
Close cooperation and strong synergy developed between business units has contributed to significant growth in business volume and activities, with solid performance recorded across the entire spectrum of the group.
Baiduri Finance, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Baiduri Bank came into existence in 1996. After a few years of aggressive growth by capturing significant new market share of the automobile financing business, it is now the country’s leading finance company. Among products offered by the company is a highly successful deposit product called the multi-tier savings account where interests are calculated daily and credited into the account monthly.
With a strong combination of local commitment and global expertise, the group has been acknowledged as one of the leading banks in the country with a track record of financial innovations and pioneering activities. Its core business includes banking services to institutions and corporations, retail banking, consumer financing and wealth management.
Baiduri Bank’s card payment business has the largest card member and merchant base in the country. It is the first and only bank in Brunei to hold franchise for four major card brands, namely American Express, Visa, MasterCard and China UnionPay (CUP) offering the widest range of payment cards to meet the needs of different customer segments.
Multiple service delivery channels
The bank has a branch network consisting of 12 branches, a finance arm with two branches, and 28 ATM locations strategically located throughout the country to serve the Brunei population of 400,000 people spread across 5,765 sq. km of land. ATMs are equipped with cash and cheque deposit functions in addition to cash withdrawal, bill payment and fund transfer functions. In addition to its wide branch and ATM networks and an enhanced internet banking service, the introduction of FAST, a mobile authentication and transaction platform for payment and value-added services, gives customers extra convenience to meet the needs of specific customer segments.
International operating standards
Baiduri Finance obtained the internationally recognised ISO9001 quality certification in 2003 and was recertified in 2006. In 2007, the bank’s Credit Administration Department became the first department within the bank to have obtained this prestigious certificate. These two units remain the only two bodies within the banking and finance sector in Brunei certified to ISO 9001.
The Baiduri Bank Group is strongly committed to helping community development. Among others, the group regularly provides financial support for child development programmes in the country. The annual Baiduri Masters charity golf event, the largest such event in the country, is a fundraising initiative in support to these organisations. Included in Baiduri Bank Group’s CSR calendar are the Universal Children’s Day, the World Blood Donor Day and an SME Partnership Programme which aims to nurture Brunei’s aspiring young SME’s.
The bank also provides educational grants to deserving children from under-privileged families to help them realise their education goals.
Baiduri Bank Group’s operating income has been growing consistently and rapidly since inception, with significant net profit growths each year. In 2009, the group’s total assets exceeded BN$2.5bn ($1.8bn), which makes it amongst the top banking groups in the country in terms of balance sheet size.
Baiduri Bank firsts:
» First to offer in-store and in-mall banking seven days a week.
» First to offer internet banking.
» First to launch the internationally accepted Visa electron debit card, MasterCard electronic CashCard and Ladies Card.
» First to offer co-brand credit cards with American Express and the country’s national carrier Royal Brunei Airlines.
» First and only bank to provide money remittance facilities under the Western Union Agency.
» First and only bank to introduce the next generation mobile suite of services which provides 24-7 banking services via the mobile phone.
» First and only bank to introduce multi-currency ATM dispensing US dollar, Singapore dollars, euros and Brunei dollars.